Friday’s Weekend Column
About a Minnesota Man Exploring Life in the South

Some Things You Only Find When You Move
by James Glaser
July 17, 2009

There is that box of photos under the stairs that you were always going to put in an album. You start looking, and soon you are on a trip down memory lane, but you have to get stuff packed. Then there are those little bags of screws that you know go to something, but you can't remember what.

How did we get so many books? Did I read that one? Boxes of old check books, some from banks you no longer have an account with. Papers and more papers to sort. Maybe it would be easier to just put them all back in their box, and take care of them after the move. Some how you suspect that some of those old papers are from the last move, and you were going to take care of them in this house.

Clothes. Clothes that no longer fit, or are out of style, or clothes that you can't remember at all. If you are a guy and you find old shirts that are on a hanger, and they look pressed, you are going to take them with you no matter how old they are. Why do we have so many suitcases? I have been looking for that whetstone for years. I knew I had it.

Stuff. Lots of stuff. Your kids are all adults now, but you have every school project they did. Little plaques sent to you over the years by your sister that are too corny to hang, but too full of memories to pitch.

I don't know how many little lamps we have, but I bet they all go with us. Wanda has shoes, and that is all I better say about that. I have some hats—not like a whole collection, but still several brimmed hats to keep my head out of the sun. I never wear them, but every time I buy a new one I think I will. They are all going along on the move, too.

I can't tell you how many old tool catalogs I have found lately, but tools have gone way up in price. Screw driver bits that fit in a power drill and are brought home in my pocket? Now there is a real collection.

Old sheets. I remember when that was on Garrett's bed—1976 maybe? You can't pitch old sheets, cause you can use them for packing mirrors. We have six computers. I didn't say we had six working computers, but you know we are packing them all, because there is some good stuff we still have to get off the hard drives and put it on discs for some reason.

I found a drawer filled with discs that have cryptic labels that mean nothing to me now. I'll have to pack them too and figure out what they are for when we get to the new house.

Important Papers. This is what makes a move worthwhile. Papers you knew you had and papers that should have been in the safety deposit box years ago surface, and then you say, "There, I told you I knew right where it was."

Here is a real mystery. You start moving your gun stuff and find a box or two of ammo that doesn't fit any firearm you have or have ever had. Maybe it was one of those deals that was too good to pass up.

I have a penny collection. Really not that much of a collection, but a pretty big galvanized bucket that I throw my pennies in. I didn't know it was that heavy. I wish I had saved quarters.

Pens and pencils. Cups and drawers filled with them and most of the pens are dried up. There are some lottery tickets in there, too. I should look and see if I won.

Medicine. You would think I had been sick as a dog with all the old medicine bottles, but some of them have discard dates back in the 80's.

Moving should be a time of paring down or culling, but it seldom is. Some stuff is just too cool to throw away. Other stuff is too filled with memories. Still other things are easier to move than to get rid of. Heck, what's an extra box or two when you are moving a hundred. Besides that, I can take care of it when we get settled.

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